An annual $100 rebate on the cost of sports registration or swimming lessons for school-age children is the highlight of a state budget, which also contains some surprise funding allocations for St George and Sutherland Shire.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Active Kids Rebate would be available from January 1 next year.
Mr Perrottet said it would not be means-tested, and would be available for each child each calendar year on items such as sports registration and membership costs, as well as swimming lesson fees.
Parents will be able to register online and can take a sports voucher to a registered sports club or provider to receive their rebate.
Activities could include sports such as netball, football or basketball; swimming classes or lessons; as well as other fitness or physical activities such as gymnastics or athletics.
A comprehensive list of eligible sports and activities will be finalised following community consultation ahead of the start date to allow providers to register with the NSW Office for Sport.
The rebate supports the government’s aim to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by five per cent over 10 years.
Another new budget measure will benefit small business owners.
From January1, 2018, the state government will abolish insurance duty for small businesses on commercial vehicle insurance (including aircraft), professional indemnity insurance, and product and public liability insurance.
The changes will apply to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $2 million.
Most budget allocations for St George and the Shire have already been announced, but surprises included:
- $4 million for an upgrade of St George Hospital car park.
- $3.9 million for the Great Southern Nature Walk in the Wattamolla Visitor Precinct of Royal National Park.
- $1 million for planning of road widening on King Georges Road between Stoney Creek Road, Beverly Hills, and Connells point Road, South Hurstville. Planning work has so far cost $380,000.
- $1.5 million to commence construction of traffic improvements on the Princes Highway at President Avenue, Sutherland.
- An unspecified amount to “deliver on road cycleway and shared path from Old Princes Highway to Rawson Avenue, Sutherland”.
No further information was immediately available on any of these projects.
Other allocations for the area included:
Only $14.1 million was allocated for the F6 project, identified as the WestConnex Southern F6 extension, to continue planning.
The budget papers said $295 million had been directed from asset sales into the Gateway to the South pinch point program at numerous intersections in St George and the shire.
An allocation of $5.3 million was made for new on and off ramps for the M5 motorway at Riverwood, with an expected completion date of 2019. State and federal governments are each contributing $15 million to the upgrade.
A sum of $117 million was allocated to continue major road upgrades around Sydney Airport.
The budget provided planning money for a new commuter car park at Beverly Hills train station and an easy access upgrade, including a lift, at Como station.
No information was provided on expected starting dates.
A new Penshurst Primary School, expansion of Kyeemagh Infants School into a primary school, and upgrades at Hurstville Public School and Penshurst West Public School were announced ahead of the budget.
A further $56 million was allocated for the new acute services block at St George Hospital, which is on track to be largely completed within the next few months. The full cost of the project is $277 million.
Sutherland Hospital’s new emergency department and extra ward beds, costing $62.9 million, are also due to open shortly and received a further $9.5 million in funding.
As previously announced, first home buyers benefit from July 1 by paying no stamp duty on new or existing homes up to $650,000, with discounts for purchases up to $800,000.
Stamp duty is also abolished on duty charged on lenders’ mortgage insurance, which is often required by banks to lend to first homebuyers with limited deposi